In 2018, Ray White Remuera’s Steve Koerber reached a career milestone, clocking up a GCI of more than $2 million and ranking 7th internationally in the Ray White Group.
It is a success that Steve attributes to a shift in thinking, pure hard work, and an unfailing passion for
what he does.
Now he’ll share his story at AREC, offering agents an insight into the key skills that have seen him take
his career to new heights.
In the fiercely competitive Auckland suburb of Remuera, Ray White salesperson Steve Koerber is renowned. He’s the agent behind one in 10 property transactions, with an enviable reputation for unsurpassed local knowledge.
His career is one built on a lot of lessons learned since he first started in the industry as a “wide-eyed 32- year-old” some 23 years ago.
“I never thought I’d go into real estate,” Steve reflects. “I had been in the Royal Australian Navy for 13 years when I met and married a Kiwi in ’93. I was with the New Zealand Navy when I saw an ad for a salaried real estate position in the paper.”
The position advertised was with the Jenman system and saw Steve hit the ground running with an anti-auction focus Auckland’s North Shore.
“I enjoyed it, but we didn’t earn too much money,” he notes. “There was a lot of prospecting and door-knocking. Basically, I did what I was told, which was probably due in part to my military training.”
When the company sold to an operator with a greater auction focus, Steve seized the opportunity to add a new specialisation to his portfolio, handling auctions in an area spanning 10 suburbs.
In the years since, he’s notched up somewhere between 700 and 800 auctions. It’s an indication of his voracious appetite to acquire new skills.
A Remuera expert
Keen to branch out on his own, Steve started his own real estate business in the leafy upmarket suburb of Remuera, but quickly realised selling might be his forte, rather than overseeing an enterprise.
“Turns out my then-mindset meant I was good at listing and selling, and not so much at business. The lesson here was I needed to knuckle-down and do what I was good at.”
Steve upped stumps and took a “if you can’t beat them join them” attitude to join a leading agency almost next door. His aim was to know Remuera intimately, to harness his innate communication skills and to ask the right questions of the vendors he served.
“By the time I came to Remuera I’d learnt an important lesson about spreading myself too thin. I made a decision to focus on one suburb and become an expert.”
That expertise soon attracted the attention of both vendors and rising real estate innovator, Megan Jaffe, who asked Steve to join her team.
“For eight years I was working in the same village as Megan. When she asked me to join her at Ray White I told her ‘When your market share matches ours, I’ll think about it.’”
Five years ago, Megan’s persistence paid off. Ray White Remuera was emerging as a leading agency not just in the suburb but within the entire Ray White group. Steve joined the team and through a series of considered improvements virtually tripled his business.
The power of a partnership
Steve might owe much of his success to an insatiable thirst for knowledge and the insight he’s gained during two decades in the industry, but he’s also quick to acknowledge the role his wife has played in his recent success.
Steve met Nila six years ago and they married in 2016. They have seven children between them ranging in age from 13 to 25. They operate as a partnership where she works alongside him as a sales associate while also nurturing clients and their loyal administration squad.
Nila brings a fresh perspective to Steve’s business. He credits her with turbo-charging his business by urging him to keep the squad small, focus on his skills as a salesperson, and channel them more towards the upper end of the Remuera market.
“Agents like me get busy and we then share out listings, which affects the bottom line. Nila stops me from watering down that income. With no sales associates we get maximum bang for our buck.
“Together we’re very good at problem solving. We’ll walk the dog and talk about listings and sales. It’s a male-female combination built on symmetry and lots of love, and that helps in so many situations.”
The message in the marketing
A standout feature of Steve’s success is his branding and marketing. In addition to his Ray White profile, he has a dedicated website entitled ‘Love Your Area’. The site features all his listings along with testimonials and detailed property profiles, which users can download.
His social media presence is also strong and four times a year he compiles a comprehensive report that tracks the market and illustrates his local expertise. Each quarter the report is issued to around 6000 people.
“My biggest prospecting tool is the quarterly report,” Steve notes. “I get a lot of listings from that.”
And despite having a “standout” marketing manager and stellar operations manager, Steve remains committed to writing all his own advertising copy.
“Marketing, headlines and photography are important to me. If you ‘get’ marketing you’ll appreciate why a ‘love your area’ brand-mark is a thousand times better than an ‘SK’ or ‘Team Steve Koerber’ brand-mark. I like to be ahead of the game. It keeps my customers and clients ahead too.”
On June 3, Steve will offer an insight into these skills and more during his presentation at AREC, and notes he’s thrilled to have been asked to speak at the event.
“I’ve always been a voracious learner and for years I was the one in the front rows at AREC, with my notebook in hand. Now I’m honoured and excited to have been tapped on the shoulder to help the wider industry.”
To hear more from Steve, register for AREC 2019 at arecconference.com